Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Lately I've been either trudging through near burnout or being swept up in creative highs.

My highs are purely creative. Haven't had a true happy high in ages. I'm occasionally able to overlook the suckiness of all things; usually when I'm working on a project and letting it all just flow in and around and through. But then I sleep. Or someone has a moment of being irritated with me. Or I have to leave for class or work. Or my car doesn't work. And all the bad feeling rushes back again.

I've always had depression.. somewhere in my life. Family had it, mostly, and I'd have moments, but they were brief. I was usually optimistic. Depression was a recurring theme, not a constant companion. There was usually something concrete I could point to and pit myself against. Currently, it's like a threatening tidal wave I'm running to keep ahead of. This feeling of impending doom is made even more surreal by the fact that the main ways to stay out of reach is to do my design work, or make craft things... both of which are rather sedentary occupations.

I'm learning pre-press, which is ridiculously complicated. Honestly, the fact that anything makes it through design and into successful production EVER is a strangely miraculous thing.

I'm learning webdesign, which I kinda love. I've got the prof telling me to reign in my thirst for more knowledge and take the steps properly, and I'm bizarrely annoyed by that seemingly sensible advice.

I'm trying to change my illustration style to something less like traditional portraiture and more like comics. Ultimately I'm going for range. I want to be able to illustrate whatever I want. At present, I'm fantastically good at a few things, but I haven't worked intensively enough to be good at all the things at which I'd prefer to excel.

I'm trying to change my illustration style while using my wacom bamboo tablet. I love it, and I hate it a little. It feels like an entirely new medium that I kinda suck at (I suppose there's an argument for that) but at least I'm not wasting paper.

I've got a job designing small items for the school newspaper. Nothing challenging, really. Just another claim on my time that I'm not exactly sure about. It started out being a super intense situation with me doing 1 or 2 images per paper, 2 papers a week. That was really far too much. Now I just have to do one design a week. This is much much more manageable, but I haven't shaken the overwhelmed feeling from the first month of the semester yet.

I'm learning the ukulele. I'm absolute shit at strumming, but I'm not about to let that stop me. Alas, my attention for music is shorter than my attention for visual arts at the moment. Given my jobs and classes, I can understand why.

I haven't been reading. Which is decidedly odd.

On the plus, thanks to tax returns, I'm not completely broke yet, so even though I'm missing work on account of my car being unreliable, I'm not scared of not having enough. The freezers are stocked and I have a new water filter pitcher. The heat is on. I'm physically better than I was this time last year in this way.

Some days I don't win, but most of the time, every little thing I do: cleaning all the things, dragging myself on errands, working on my designs - pushes me away from the fear and sadness...for a little while.. I've just got to keep moving. Even if it feels like I'm not gaining any distance from the avalanche or crazy tidal wave of despair, at least I'm not crushed under it, right?